New public-sector energy agencies to help households manage bills, dump coal and gas and reap the benefits of renewable energy.
Key points in the Greens energy plan include:
- The creation of public sector energy agencies to provide financial support and technical advice to households and small business and direct assistance to the low income and vulnerable;
- A new partnership with households to support the transition away from coal-fired electricity and gas and to help finance rooftop solar, energy efficient equipment and intelligent energy trading and management;
- Investment in a "smart grid" that allows households and businesses to buy and sell clean energy, including roof top solar and regional and state-wide wind power; and
- Maintaining the wires and poles in public hands to allow for the transition to a 21st century grid that is focused on renewable energy and local energy trading.
The Greens' vision for a secure energy future for NSW that stabilises household power bills, eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation and creates tens of thousands of new jobs across NSW. The plan would position the state as a world leader in the fast growing clean energy economy.
The centrepiece of the plan is the creation of Energy Service Agencies within the public sector to support the transition of households and small businesses from coal-based electricity and gas, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Households and small businesses would no longer be passive consumers of electricity. Instead they would become active participants in the electricity industry, trading roof top solar electricity and other renewable sources across a publicly-owned network. This will enable them to manage their use to minimise their costs and assist the network transition to clean energy sources.
Households will be critical players in the transition to 100% renewable energy in NSW.
Combined with large scale approaches to decarbonise electricity generation, including a timetable to phase out coal fired generators, the combined efforts of households to reduce their fossil fuel consumption can have a profound and transformative effect on future of the electricity generation in this state.
The technical and financial challenges for households to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and cut their power bills can only be provided by an agency that is free from the profit incentives that drive private sector electricity businesses to exploit consumers.
That's why the Greens would create new public sector energy service agencies. We believe families need an ally they can trust as they make the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
The economic and employment benefits of the Greens plan to transition to 100% renewable electricity generation are substantial. It would bring more than 70,000 new jobs to NSW and serve as a platform for the development of an export-oriented manufacturing and services industry.
Rapid technological development and falling costs for renewable energy sources like wind generators and solar power mean that it is now feasible and affordable to escape the expense and pollution of coal mining and coal-seam gas drilling.
The Greens have already announced other initiatives that would help position NSW as a world-leader in clean energy, including:
- State legislation to insulate NSW’s current and future renewable energy generators against any reduction in the federal government's Renewable Energy Target; and
- Scrapping the Baird government's draft wind farm planning guidelines and providing a more effective and transparent development assessment pathway.
A 100% renewable energy NSW is possible, affordable and essential. But it will not happen as long as the old parties remain committed to coal and gas and continue to frustrate and undermine wind and solar.